Tag Archives: Rich Hopkins

Flashlite #550

The Afghan Whigs

Today we have a line up of nice new comebacks. The Afghan Whigs are back collaborating with James Hall. Violent Femmes are also back with new tunes. Rich Hopkins (ex Sidewinders) with his Luminaros has a new album. John Fallon, who used to be with The Steppes is back with the new band Laissez Faires. Southern college rockers Drivin’n’Cryin’ are another comeback in this show. The younger generation returns too: Mikal Cronin has a new single and Eamon McGrath has a new album out.

The Laissez Fairs – Marigolds Return
The Afghan Whigs – You Want Love (feat. James Hall);
Violent Femmes – Not OK;
Violent Femmes – Love & Me Make Three;
The Strange – Last Summer Song;
Rich Hopkins And Luminarios – No Regrets;
Rich Hopkins And Luminarios – Another State Of Mind;
The Laissez Fairs – Lillie May;
The Steppes – Take Heart My Love;
Eamon McGrath – Young Men;
Eamon McGrath – City of Glass;
Mikal Cronin – Show Me;
Mikal Cronin – Am I Wrong (Live in CLE);
Kevn Kinney – Gotta Move On;
Drivin N Cryin – If I’m Not There I’ll Be Here;
The Lemonheads – Wild Child;
Lou Reed – Wild Child.

Flashlite #485

Harriet Bevan of Black MothToday we open up with a new band called The Fadeaways form Japan. Melvins have a new record with two bass players, Jeff Pinkus (ex Butthole Surfers) and Steven McDonald (of Redd Kross). We introduce two hard rock bands, Black Moth lead by Harriet Bevan and a feminist quartet War On Women from Baltimore. Zerodent of Perth Australia are back with the new album and so are Umreti Fit (Szeged, Hungary). Erika Wennerstrom of Heartless Bastards is going solo on a new record and Rich Hopkins has a new song with his Luminarios. Tune in next week for more!

The Well Wishers – Come Out and Play;
The Fadeaways – I’m Gonna Make You Mine;
Melvins – I Want to Hold Your Hand;
Melvins – I Want to Tell You;
Brett Smiley – I Want To Hold Your Hand;
Dream Syndicae – Tell Me When It’s Over (Live in CLE);
Black Moth – Istra;
War On Women – Dick Pics;
Greg ‘Stackhouse’ Prevost – Too Much Junk;
Relativity – Trusted You;
Zerodent – Divine Sonata;
Umreti Fit – Kaži mi;
Chip Kinman and PCH – Ladybird;
John Doe – Hotel Ghost;
Imperial State Electric – Break It Down;
Erika Wennerstrom – Twisted Highway;
Rich Hopkins and the Luminarios – Acoma Mary.

Sweet Apple – The Golden Age of Glitter (Tee Pee), Doug Gillard – Parade On (Nine Mile) and Death of Samantha – If Memory Serves Us Well (St. Valentine)

Sweet Apple and Doug Gillard reviewWhen Mick Jagger was in his late forties he recorded Primitive Cool and Steel Wheels. Certainly not the highest point of his career. But, it seems that the generation of musicians who are in their late forties these days are growing up a bit slower, putting better and better records as the time goes by. Examples are many – Nick Saloman from Bevis Frond, Matthew Smith from Outrageous Cherry, Rich Hopkins… The heroes of this story, Doug Gillard and John Petkovic are in that group.

Gillard and Petkovic started back in the eighties in a band called Death of Samantha. After several underground records and an extensive touring schedule across the USA in a van, the band morphed into Cobra Verde. Then, in the nineties, Robert Pollard hired the entire band to be the new line up of Guided By Voices. Gillard then stayed with Pollard and Petkovic split with a new line-up of Cobra Verde.

Petkovic’s latest project is Sweet Apple. The first album in 2010, Love and Desparation was a rocking record, but the latest one Golden Age of Glitter shines even brighter. There are no fillers on this one. The record also features a multiple help from some super talented musicians J Mascis, Mark Lanegan, Rachel Haden and Pollard who reunited with Petkovic on several tunes (pun intended – one tune he helped with is actually called Reunion). As one author wrote about the record, it plays like an exercise in enlightened revisionism, describing Petkovic’s desire to revisit some of the long lost musical genres of the seventies. But a really disarming thing about this record is the song writing talent and enthusiasm that Petkovic clearly put into the album. You can trust me on that one – I had a rare opportunity to see the album being built up from the first set of vague guitar riffs, recording and struggle to find an appropriate cover – to the first vinyl press testing.

Gillard also had a record recently. It’s called Parade On. He is well known as one of the finest guitarists in alternative rock (whatever it is), mainly from his tenure in Guided By Voices. But even the big fans of GBV can’t name too many of the songs Gillard has written, other than one of their biggest hits I Am A Tree. On Parade On, his song writing talent absolutely shines. In a private conversation with Gillard, he confessed that he attempted to make an easy listening record. And indeed, Parade On can stand next to any Paddy McAloon’s work, but with a bit harder edge, especially instrumentally.

There are two things in common to the new records of Gillard and Petkovic. One – they are probably the greatest and the most consistent albums they’ve ever written. The two songwriters defy their age with enthusiasm for rocking and rolling, sounding more youthful than ever. Two – the records also came out while their original band Death of Samantha reunited and rerecorded their early tunes on a really cool live record called If Memory Serves Us Well. Certainly, Gillard and Petkovic are at the very peak of their careers as songwriters and performers. Perhaps one way to achieve an even greater artistic peak would be to start writing new music together. You read it here first!

Flashlite #303

Miss DestinyWe have a couple of new things today. Miss Destiny from Australia are three ladies and one dude: Harriet Hudson, Harriet Stewart, Annie Llewellyn and Brett Bevege. Also from Australia, in Perth, Night Signals have a new EP called Animals. The new single they have on Hozac is on our program today. Rich Hopkins has a new album with his Luminarios, called Tombstone, two years after his great effort Buried Treasures. Also, check out John Murry playing on of his new songs live in Cleveland. We hope to be a soundtrack of your Thanksgiving holiday this year!

Graham Parker – The Heart In Harlem;
Dead Milkmen – Streetlamps – Walking to Work;
Game Theory – Beach State Rocking;
Melvins – You Can Make Me Wait;
Miss Destiny – The One;
OBN IIIs – Driving Dream;
Rich Hopkins and Luminarios – Ace in the Hole;
Rich Hopkins and Luminarios – Everything;
Cheap Wine – Your Time Is Right Now;
Stray – Oil Fumes & Sea Air;
Bonnie Prince Billy – Whipped;
Allysen Callery – I Gave You;
John Murry – The Stars Are Gods Bullet Holes (Live in CLE);
Otis Spann – Sellin’ My Thing (Blues Alphabet);
Neil Young – Drive Back;
Night Signals – Drunk and Disorderly.

Rich Hopkins And Luminarios – Buried Treasures

Rich Hopkins And Luminarios - Burried TreasuresNew American rock was a musical label worth carrying in the late eighties. Being a part of that scene meant that you belong to the most innovative group of musicians on the scene, and that you possess a direct link to more traditional rock roots. One of the bands that proudly carried the “new American rock” label back in the day was The Sidewinders from Tucson, AZ.

As it happened at the time, new American rock bands had excellent songs, even better live shows, but often somewhat thin albums. The groups that belonged to the genre were deeply aware of their quality and cared enough to make records accessible to the eighties market. As a result, those records often suffered from somewhat weak production. So, when Rich formed a new band Luminarius in the nineties, his music started having an edgier and a more appropriate production on the long plays.

Rich Hopkins and Luminarios is not the most obvious example to choose from when it comes to new American rock today, but they are one of the most consistent. Rich’s albums contain reliably great songwriting and sparking guitars, whichever you decide to pick.

Nineties was a great opportunity to ride on the alternative country wave, which definitely had its roots in the new American rock, but for some reason, there was not much interest in Rich’s native USA for the Luminarios. Yet, he struck a solid following in Europe, especially in Germany and Spain.

For his new album, Hopkins returns to Tucson. The record is a lengthy one, it goes on for an hour, but it will keep your attention. In fact, in a line of Hopkins’ consistent albums, this one stands as a crown achievement, without a filler, without a downer. Almost every song contains a catchy riff and climax is always reserved for Rich’s crunchy solo.

The central place in the album is reserved for Friend of The Shooter, an epic, disturbing story about a mind gone mad. It’s about someone Rich knew and who turned out be a mass murderer. Although Neil Young appears now and then as the strongest influence for Hopkins, on Friend of The Shooter, this is the most apparent.

Another interesting thing about this album is that is also contains an extra disc that goes for almost another hour, which contains various ambient and folky improvisations on two guitars, acoustic or electric which is the biggest sonic departure for Hopkins on any of his records. Although, I am usually not a fan of such lengthy experiments, Hopkins did a fantastic job bringing in the trippy desert sounds of Arizona and Mexico on a record. The second cd finishes on a very optimistic note, with an disarmingly beautiful and playful Ragged Hearts. The long but exciting record finally ends with a rooster- doodle-doo, bringing a definite smile on the listener’s face.

First published on rockxs.com.

Flashlite #164

Holly GolightlyThe first part of the show is filled with crazy garage rockers. We have Thee Exciters and Johnny Throttle from England, Dan Sartain from Alabama and we round things up with the French duet The Magnetix with a segment from their live show this Sunday in Cleveland. Then we turn to veterans. Rich Hopkins and The Luminarios are here with a new double album. One cd contains a set of truly exceptional new songs and the other cd is ambiental in nature. Wedding Present are also back with the new record and so is Holly Golightly. We also pick one song by Vince Gill from the new tribute record to one of my favorite writers Mark Twain.

Daniel Kroha – 02;
Chuck Prophet – Play That Song Again;
Thee Exciters – Perpetual Happening;
Chrome Cranks – ’50s french movie;
Johnny Throttle – Heart of Stone;
Dan Sartain – I Can’t Go Home Now;
Terry Malts – Not Far from It;
The Happy Thoughts – Ride Ride Ride;
The Magnetix (Live in Cleveland);
Sidewinders – I Can Wait;
Rich Hopkins and Luminarios – Betcha Gotcha Now!;
Rich Hopkins and Luminarios – Shooting Star;
The Beatles – Getting Better;
Wedding Present with Amelia Fletcher – Getting Better;
Wedding Present – The Girl From the DDR;
Joe Strummer – King Of The Bayou;
Jay Farrar, Yim Yames, Will Johnson and Anders Parker – Old L.A;
Vince Gill – I Know You By Heart;
Holly Golightly And The Brokeoffs – Dearly Departed.